Oscar-winning film editor Thelma Schoonmaker, who has worked hand-in-hand with director Martin Scorsese for over 40 years, was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in Venice on Tuesday.
The 74-year-old American has edited some of the biggest selling and critically acclaimed movies of the past 30 years, from "Goodfellas" to "Gangs of New York" and "The Wolf of Wall Street", and only works with Scorsese.
After winning Oscars for "Raging Bull", "The Aviator" and "The Departed", Schoonmaker said she was honoured to be awarded the top Venice accolade -- and to be the first film editing artist to receive it in the festival's history.
"I had started a six-week course at NYU (New York University) in editing when I first met Marty, and it changed my life," Schoonmaker told journalists at the world's oldest film festival ahead of the ceremony on Lido island in Italy's floating city.
"I had no idea what would happen to me in agreeing to work for the man who taught me everything, who got me hooked on this job," she said.
Schoonmaker began her collaboration with the famous American director on his debut feature film "Who's That Knocking at My Door" in 1967 and never looked back.
"Editing is a mysterious job. We work with a vast amount of material and a screen and have to take thousands of decisions in just a few minutes.
"To understand just how marvellous it is you would have to sit next to me and get bored. But there's nothing better in the world," she said.